In order to meet MSU’s 2030 goal of an 86% graduation rate with no opportunity gaps as articulated in the Strategic Plan, we must reform aspects of the undergraduate experience to increase retention. Given academic advising’s central role in student success, improving our academic advising system to better support both our advisors and students is paramount.
Academic advising as it exists at MSU works very well for many students, but our current system favors those who know how to navigate it. The overarching goal of the university advising initiative is to create an academic advising experience at MSU that properly supports and empowers every student we admit until they graduate.
Ultimately, the initiative is designed to increase overall advising capacity, improve advising for students without a major, provide lighter advising caseloads, and increase opportunities for both current and new advisors. Our framework for implementation and the working groups are designed to address the ideas and suggestions raised across campus as well as address the needs identified in our landscape of advising study. The following is a list of opportunities this initiative will focus on:
This initiative involves the hire of many more advisors than previous plans. College advisors are also extensively involved in the development of how we move forward to ensure that students can move between colleges and majors successfully. Additionally, one of the outcomes of the working groups is to create onboarding, ongoing training, and a structure of communication (e.g., regular meetings) between units, so advisors are knowledgeable of curriculums and programs for their interest areas. Advisors in units will be engaging with one another a lot more than currently.
Both the personnel and professional leadership development group welcome ideas for this recruitment. We generally use Higher Ed and HERC for job postings with specific postings to various affinity groups. We recruit via all the international, national and regional advising and student affairs associations along with sharing through various listservs and social media avenues we have access to through our professional organizations.
There are and will be representatives from colleges present in our searches as well. Additionally, a campus-wide advising campaign is being discussed to help better coordinate open advising positions.
Click here to view the Advising Unit structure.
Executive leadership has been very explicit about this: this initiative is about investing in advising and we will ensure that investment happens at all levels. We will do this by working with colleges to support their initiatives around advising. We will ensure that any changes in advising support the work to meet the overarching needs of our students and their success.
In some cases, this might mean realigning some college initiatives or redirecting some college advising resources and activities. This will be monitored so that funding is used for the positions and resources needed.
Yes. We have been engaging the advising community through our landscape study. Each college was met with to gather feedback and input. We will continue to create opportunities for feedback and input during the working group phase of this initiative. Executive leadership will be relying on the expertise of advisors and advising leadership to carry out the details of this work. As details emerge from the working groups, they will be shared through college representatives and through University Advising channels (e.g., this website).